Farrell's moves loom large in Game 3 loss

Farrell's moves loom large in Game 3 loss
October 27, 2013, 2:30 am
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ST. LOUIS -- While most of the postgame discussion centered on the obstruction call that ended the game, there were other things to chew on as well.

Such as some of the decisions -- and non-decisions -- made by John Farrell in the stinging 5-4 loss to the Cardinals in Game 3 of the 2013 World Series Saturday night.

Such as . . . 

-- The decision to lift Felix Doubront, who had pitched two scoreless, one-hit innings in relief of Jake Peavy.

With the pitcher's spot due in the top of the seventh, two out and none on in a 2-2 game, Farrell sent up Jonny Gomes for Doubront. Gomes flied to center and the Sox went down 1-2-3 in the inning.

In all likelihood, Farrell was motivated -- at least in part -- by preserving Doubront for some work in Game 4 Sunday night, given that the Sox are unsure how much length they'll get out of Clay Buchholz, who has been battling shoulder fatigue.

-- Pitching to John Jay with first base open, two on and one out in the bottom of the fateful ninth.

Light-hitting Pete Kozma was on deck and the Cards were effectively out of position players, meaning Kozma would have to hit. The Sox could have walked Jay to set up a potential inning-ending double play.

As it turned out, the Sox got Jay to hit a ball which Dustin Pedroia fielded with a spectacular play, but perhaps the inning would have unfolded differently had they not chosen to pitch to Jay.

-- The curious decision to allow reliever Brandon Workman to hit for himself in the ninth inning in a tied World Series game.

Granted, with one out and the bases empty, there wasn't much going for the Red Sox. But sending up Mike Napoli to try to win the game with one swing was a logical move to make.

Even Farrell was second-guessing himself minutes after the loss.

"Yeah, in hindsight, I probably should have double-switched after [Jarrod Saltalamacchia] made the final out in the previous inning, with Workman coming into the game. [But] I felt like if we got into [extra innings], which that game was looking like it was going to be, I would hold Nap back in the event that spot came up again.

"Like I said, in hindsight, having Workman hit against [hard-throwing closer Trevor] Rosenthal is a mismatch, I recognize it. But we needed more than one inning out of Workman.''

Farrell should have had Workman inserted into the seventh spot in the batting order and put Saltalamacchia's replacement, David Ross, into the ninth spot. That way, Ross -- and not the pitcher -- would have hit with one out in the bottom of the ninth.

Instead, Workman hit and struck out on three pitches.

Worse, Workman came out in the ninth after recording just one out and allowing two hits -- a single to Yadier Molina and a double by pinch-hitter Allen Craig -- as he gave way to closer Koji Uehara. That made allowing Workman to hit all the more of a waste.

"I felt like we had four outs with Koji, four to five outs,'' he said. "If the thought was to go for a two-inning outing for Koji, we would have pinch-hit for Workman the inning before. We were trying to get two innings out of Workman. Once he pitch count was getting into the 30s range, with the go-ahead run on base, that was the time to bring Koji in.''